Today’s post is brought to you by Pope Francis, who currently has stopped traffic and generally all other signs of life here in Philadelphia. I’m taking advantage of the three day weekend to get caught up on some reading and other work, and thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few noteworthy links.
First, the second volume of Unlocking Press’ Harry Potter for Nerds is now available for pre-order and will officially be available on October 15th. While I’m always happy to see a new HP book on the market, I’m particularly excited about this one as it features my very first formal publication! It’s the analytical essay on Remus Lupin that I always wanted to write, and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Even cooler, the book features no less than six pieces by Mythgard Institute-affiliated writers: Dr. Amy H. Sturgis, and Mythgard students Kris Swank, Kelly Orazi, Laura Lee Smith, Emily Strand, and myself. These are all excellent writers and lovely people, and I’m quite proud to be in their company.
On a related note, I’ve recently registered for the free annual Harry Potter conference at Chestnut Hill College which combines with the Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Festival to make one of the premier HP weekends in the country. I’ve heard great things but never been able to go, so this year I’m finally making the trek. I have no plans to present as of yet, but they are still accepting abstracts until October 1st in case any of you are interested. I’m really excited to hopefully see some friends and colleagues there, as well as finally meet some of my favorite scholars such as John Granger and Maria Tatar. Check out the official website and join us if you’re able!
I will also be attending another one-day conference: Mythgard’s regional east-coast Midmoot to be held at the University of Maryland next Saturday, October 3rd. Both Dr. Corey Olsen (The Tolkien Professor) and Dr. Verlyn Flieger (noted Tolkien scholar and editor of the recently published unfinished Tolkien story Kullervo) will be in attendance, as will lots of other scholars and students of Tolkien and speculative fiction. You can get the details and register here.
Switching gears a bit, I hope all you Doctor Who fans enjoyed the series 9 premier, “The Magician’s Apprentice.” I am planning to revive my traditional episode analysis blog, although these may be somewhat shorter and less in-depth than it past years, both because my schedule has become rather tight and also because my podcasting partner and I are actually pretty close behind. If you’ve not been following Kat and Curt’s TV Re-View regularly, Curtis and I just posted our super-sized episode discussion of “The Day of the Doctor” (plus a rather subpar episode of Angel). This means we’ll be blasting our way through the extant Capaldi era rather quickly. In case you missed it, we recently announced that once we catch up with New Who, we’ll be starting weekly discussions of the new series of Battlestar Galactica interspersed with bonus posts on the Classic series of Doctor Who, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements concerning those.
Finally, the Tolkien Professor also announced that as part of Signum University/Mythgard Institute’s annual fundraiser, he’ll be discussing an episode of Doctor Who live (episode TBC – and he’s accepting recommendations and bribes), and Curtis and I will join him at the end of the analysis! Here are the fundraiser webpage and links to all the various events. Our event will be held Thursday October 22nd at 7 pm EDT. Please join us live if you can, as this discussion won’t be posted/podcasted after the fact.